Firstly now is actually not the best time to buy wild Rabbit ,from April they are busy breeding and feeding their young . However this is little wild bunny has been in my freezer for a couple of months, a two-for offer at the farmers market.
I would not bother with the farmed rabbit , a lot of it is brought over frozen from China, I find it tastes of watery chicken. Wild Rabbit is a whole other game , it is not a overly strong tasting , you don’t get that ferrous-bloody taste instead like pheasant it’s a rich yeasty taste. A whole rabbit I think you can feed four, but maybe three greedy people
Preparing a rabbit They are usually sold whole and skinned, so you will need to butcher it yourself this is pretty easy, legs come off , and cut the saddle ( middle bit in half ) . If the rabbit looks particularly bloody you might want can soak it overnight in water before butchering.
I finally got the rabbit out of the freezer this weekend, I was actually planning on trying a BBQ rabbit recipe, but then somehow the BBQ never got lit , so instead I adapted a classic french – Rabbit with Creamy Mustard recipe. A departure for me cream sauces , I rarely add cream it since it’s not an ingredient I really buy however I had some leftover from making profiteroles , whipped slightly and frozen in ice cubs trays , I am left with small amounts to add to sauces , risotto or the odd cheeky hot chocolate.
I also wanted to use some wild herbs ( have done this before in pies ) . One of my favourite herbs , wild garlic, is in full growth. It’s got very popular now, blogs and Sunday supplements have been full of Wild Garlic recipes but since moving at Christmas I have had limited time to check out new foraging spots locally.
Therefore was pretty happy to read that my vegebox was going to contain some leaves soon. Until we got an email saying they were having problems ensuring other (sick-making) weeds were not picked alongside the wild garlic and they were ceasing adding it to the boxes. I was very happy Nick presented me with a bunch of wild garlic gathered on his evening bike ride from the banks of the River Trent .
Better than any flowers and thankfully gathered within walking ( future pushchair pushing) distance of the house. I went on Friday and gathered a lot , processeed half with with a little olive oil to make a pesto ( you can add walnuts/pint nuts ) which will keep in the fridge for a few weeks or the other half is processor with butter to make a wild garlic butter and frozen to keep for months to keep me going with it through the summer.
I served the saucy rabbit with pasta and purple sprouting , it was so delicious swirling purple sprouting broccoli around my bowl to clean it. It will be a few months til rabbit is properly back in season and I can’t wait meanwhile leftovers are going into a small pie.
Rabbit with Mustard and Wild Garlic
1 large rabbit jointed
2 tbsp of French Mustard
2 tbsp of wholegrain mustard
1 tsp of butter
1 large leek ( could use a white onion) finely chopped
100ml of white wine
300ml of chicken/vegetable stock
3 tbsp of double cream ( or creme fraiche)
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp of wild garlic finely chopped
Greens , Spring Greens , Purple Sprouting Broccoli or Spinach
- Dissolve 1 tsp of salt in 1 pint of water,
- Cover the rabbit and leave to soak overnight to tenderise the mea
- Mix together the mustard , a twist of salt , pepper. Rub over the rabbit and leave to marinade for a few hours
- Preheat the oven to 175degC
- In a cast iron pan saute the rabbit pieces and leeks in the butter until brown, add the white wine, stock and any marinade juices.
- Cover and place the rabbit in the oven for 2 hours, it should be falling off the bone
- Once cooked remove the rabbit from the pan and allow to rest, meanwhile on the hob simmer the remaining juices to reduce for 5 minutes
- Cook a few sheets of pasta,
- Once the juices have reduced ,stir in the wild garlic and cream .
- Taste and season , add the cooked pasta .
- Serve the rabbit on top of the pasta ,with some greens , purple sprouting broccoli , spinach , spring greens and plenty of sauce.
More rabbit recipes.